Harry E. Rubash, MD


As I write my 11th annual Chief’s Report to the Orthopaedic Journal at the Harvard Medical School, the financial world seems to be crumbling around us. After a hard-fought political season, we have chosen our 44th President of the United States and have experienced a major transition in our House of Representatives and Senate. Who would have thought that this new administration of “hope and change” would have been beset with such enormous challenges as the financial sector deteriorated? Fortunately, the medical field has been relatively immune to tremendous variations in the United States economy. We await President Obama’s plans on Healthcare Insurance reform and are all monitoring our practices in hope that we will be able to deliver the same high quality patient centric, safe and effective care that we have grown accustomed to providing to our patients.


In December we were saddened by the passing of Robert D. Leffert, MD. Dr. Leffert retired from practice in 2000. He was a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School and the former Chief of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and Chief of the Surgical Upper Extremity Rehabilitation Unit at the MGH. He was keenly interested in neuromuscular disease, biomechanics and kinesiology. He was national recognized for his work in the areas of brachial plexus injuries and thoracic outlet syndrome. Over the years Dr. Leffert served on many committees at the MGH, HMS, and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Leffert was a skilled clinician and educator; he was a valued friend and colleague to many here in the Department and the MGH. He will be sorely missed.

Condolences to the Leffert family: his wife, Linda; children, Adam and Lisa; and Grandsons, Samuel and Eli.


The Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care continues to be the shining star of our out patient programs at the MGH. At present we have occupied every last office and exam room of the second and third floor of the Yawkey Center and we have begun to look at our ambulatory centers in the North (North Shore Center for Outpatient Care), MG West, and MG South (Brigham and Women’s/Mass General Health Care Center at Foxborough) as sites for growth. In addition, the Sports Medicine Center continues to be the focus of intense activity and innovation in the field.

The Orthopaedic Ambulatory Surgery Center

The Orthopaedic Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) at MGH West has been one of the jewels in the crown of the Orthopaedic Department. The Orthopaedic ASC is under the direction of Jeffrey Wilson, MD, Medical Director and Claire O’Brien, RN, MBA, CNORN, Nursing Director. This state-of-the-art facility is now being fully utilized. Dr. Wilson reports, "In January 2009, the 7,000th case was performed. We have performed close to 3,500 nerve blocks and approximately 50% of all patients having surgery at the ASC have a nerve block. Our block success rate for postoperative analgesia is 98.7%. We have met all our goals every quarter and patients continue to rate their experience as excellent!" New Foot and Ankle surgeon, Anne Johnson, MD, began utilizing the ASC in December and became the 19th staff surgeon. A new pilot program started last year to have Anesthesia Residents rotate through at the ASC has been a tremendous success and will continue this year. Congratulations to the team!

Brigham and Women’s / Mass General Health Care Center at Foxborough

The Brigham and Women’s / Mass General Health Care Center at Patriot’s Place, a 1.3 million square foot development adjacent to Gillett Stadium, is open! This massive complex includes shopping, restaurants, entertainment, commercial properties as well as a state-of-the-art Health Care Center directly in front of the main gate of Gillett stadium. This center includes physician offices, four operating rooms for outpatient surgery, advanced diagnostic imaging, and is the cornerstone of the BWH Ambulatory Center in the South. The Department of the Orthopaedic Surgery at the MGH along with members of the BWH Faculty are staffing this unit to provide outstanding care for our patients in the South. Medical Director, Thomas Gill, MD, and Associate Medical Director, Andreas H. Gomoll, MD, are providing the leadership for the development of the Orthopaedic Program at this new facility. Orthopaedic Surgery Physicians working with Drs. Gill and Gomoll are Peter Asnis, MD; Eric Berkson, MD; Philip Blazar, MD; Christopher Bono, MD; Christopher Chiodo, MD; Wolfgang Fitz, MD; Scott Martin, MD; Chai Mudgal, MD; Joseph Schwab, MD; and George Theodore, MD... to name a few.

On February 9, 2009, physicians from the area were able to meet and greet at the new facility and review the short and long-term vision of the facility as presented by Drs. Peter Slavin and Gary Goettlieb at the official ribbon cutting ceremony. The Grand Opening of the facility was held to a standing-room only crowd. Physicians, administration, as well as members of the Kraft family, who own the New England Patriots, were on hand for the opening of the facility.

We look forward to the opportunity to care for patients in the South in this new state-of-the-art facility and the prospect for growth in the Department. We thank all of those who were involved in the planning of this facility especially David Gaynor, Ann Prestipino and James Zachazewski.

North Shore Center for Outpatient Care

The North Shore Center for Outpatient Care construction is being finalized and we will be hosting a Grand Opening in August of this year. This Center located on Endicott Street in Danvers is just off of Rt. 128 and will include both a medical office building and an ambulatory surgical care center. This building conceived and constructed as a joint effort by the North Shore Medical Center and the MGH is a 125,000 square foot outpatient care facility and an 80,000 square foot medical office building. This site will be the newest addition to the Orthopaedic Department and will offer us the opportunity to partner with North Shore colleagues to develop an important North Shore / MGH Orthopaedic Center of Excellence. Dr. Brian Grottkau will be the Medical Director of the Orthopaedic Program in this facility. Dr. Doug Halsedt from the North Shore Physician’s Group has been intimately involved in the planning of the medical office space. Orthopaedic Services that will be initially included are Pediatric Orthopaedics, Hand and Upper Extremity, Orthopaedic Spine, Orthopaedic Oncology and Foot and Ankle. In addition, we are looking for other services to move to the North.

Sports Medicine Center Celebrates Third Year!

In October of this year, the Sports Medicine Center will celebrate its third anniversary. The Center is located at 175 Cambridge Street and is situated on the 4th floor of the South Building. The Center houses all of the services and facilities that are necessary to both diagnose, treat, and to help patients with sports related injuries recover in one modern facility.

Building of the 3rd Century

The new Building of the 3rd Century (B3C) is taking shape. It will occupy the site of the former Clinics Building and its scheduled opening in 2011 coincides with the 200th anniversary of the MGH. This nearly half a million square foot facility will house Radiation Oncology, Radiology, In-Patient and Out- Patient Surgery, and twelve new operating rooms including increased Intensive Care In-Patient Unit capacity. In addition, the top five floors will house increased bed capacity for Cancer, Neurology and Neurosurgery. Mr. Sumner Redstone, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Viacom, has pledged over $40 million to develop the new Emergency Department which will be relocated on the White Lobby Level of the new facility. We anxiously await the arrival of this new facility and the expanded capacity it will give us as a result of the new Orthopaedic Operating Rooms.

Liberty Hotel

The Liberty Hotel is open and packed. Heralded as Boston’s best luxury hotel, this beautiful establishment is adjacent to our Yawkey Building and maintains the design and layout of the original architecture of the former Charles Street Jail. We are so fortunate to have this fabulous facility so close with its two wonderful restaurants, The Clink and Scampo, and meeting space. We have used the Liberty Hotel for patient families, visiting professors, meetings and other events. It has been spectacular!


Joseph Schwab, MD, has had an impressive second year. Dr. Schwab continues to divide his time between clinical activities on the Orthopaedic Spine and Oncology Services and in basic science research in the areas of bone and soft-tissue tumors. His current interest is in molecular pathophysiology of human chordomas and he has made some important progress in his work. In addition, we congratulate Dr. Schwab and his wife, Christina Ferrone, MD, a physician in the MGH Department of General Surgery, for the new addition to their family, baby son, Peter.

It was a pleasure to have welcomed, Gleeson Rebello, MD, to the Department and as the newest member of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Service last year. In 2004, Dr. Rebello completed the prestigious Peabody Research Fellowship with the Pediatric Orthopaedic Service. His areas of expertise include pediatric trauma, pediatric and adolescent hip, neuromuscular disorders and foot and ankle pathology. Dr. Rebello will be working to expand the expertise of the service and all the service’s teaching activities. We wish Dr. Rebello continued success in the Department.

It is a great pleasure to welcome, Anne Holly Johnson, MD, to the Department and to the Foot and Ankle Service. Dr. Johnson, attended the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, and completed both her Orthopedic Residency and a Foot And Ankle Fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Dr. Johnson has a keen interest in teaching. Her clinical interests include: sports injuries to the foot and ankle, trauma and post-traumatic arthritis and deformity, Achilles tendon problems, and forefoot deformity. Dr. Johnson will split her time between the Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care and the North Shore Center for Outpatient Care. We welcome Dr. Johnson, her husband Kurt, and their three lovely children Sam (4), Will (3), and Cat (1) to the MGH Orthopaedic community.

It is a pleasure to welcome Eric Berkson, MD, to the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the MGH. Dr. Berkson will be joining Drs. Gill, Zarins, Asnis,Theodore and the other members of the Sports Medicine Orthopaedic team as its newest member. Dr. Berkson will be primarily based at the BWH/MGH Health Care center at Patriot Place in Foxborough. Dr. Berkson received his BA Summa Cum Laude from Brandeis University in 1994 and received an MA in Computer Science from Brandeis University in 1995. He graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine with an MD with Honors in June 2000. He completed an orthopaedic residency at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and a Sports Medicine fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2006.

Dr. Berkson specializes in advanced arthroscopic and reconstructive procedures of the shoulder, knee and elbow, and has an interest in cartilage restoration. His current research interests include pitching injuries and studies of shoulder and elbow biomechanics. He will be leading development of a Sports Performance Center at our facilities in Foxborough.

Outside of medicine, Dr. Berkson and his wife Stephanie enjoy hiking and spending time with their son Jadon and dog Femur. Dr. Berkson and his wife are expecting a baby in June. We wish him the best in his new role in the Department.

Another new addition to Department and to the Sport Medicine Service is Luke Oh, MD. Dr. Oh graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine and did his Orthopaedic Residency at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Dr. Oh completed three fellowships, the Sports Medicine Fellowship here at the Massachusetts General Hospital, an Elbow Surgery Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic and additional Sports Elbow Training with James Andrews, MD. Dr. Oh’s clinical interests include: Sports Medicine, Shoulder and Elbow Injuries of the Throwing Athlete and Rheumatoid Elbows. His specific area of expertise is in Elbow Arthroscopy, Arthroplasty, and Reconstructive Surgery. His research interests include biomechanics of the shoulder, elbow and knee. Dr. Oh will be an active member of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Services and will bring his expertise in the area of sports medicine, shoulder and hand and upper extremity including elbow reconstruction. In 2009, Dr. Oh along Thomas Gill, MD, and Guoan Li, PhD, received the O’Donoghue Research Award from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. We welcome, Dr. Oh, his wife, Donna and their daughters, Giuliana (2 years old) and baby Isabella.

I am also pleased to welcome Hany S. Bedair, MD, to the Department and to the Adult Reconstructive Surgery Service (Arthroplasty). Dr. Bedair graduated from Yale University School of Medicine. He did his Residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and completed an Orthopaedic Adult Reconstruction Fellowship from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Il. Dr. Bedair will work both at MGH and NWH where he will be joining Dr. Joseph McCarthy at the Kaplan Center for Joint Reconstruction. Dr. Bedair’s clinical interests are in the area of adult reconstructive surgery of the hip and knee (total hip, total knee arthroplasty, partial knee arthroplasty), including complex primary and revision surgery. His research interests focus on periprosthetic infections, arthrofibrosis, and clinical outcomes. Dr. Bedair, and his wife, Naglaa, enjoy hiking, mountain biking and snowboarding. We welcome the Bedair’s to MGH!


Adult Reconst ructive Surgery Service (Arthroplasty)

The Arthroplasty Service under the direction of Service Chief and Department Vice Chair, Andrew Freiberg, MD, continues to grow and prosper not only on the main campus but also at the Newton Wellesley Hospital (NWH) facility as well. Once again the Arthroplasty Service had an outstanding presence at this year’s Orthopaedic Research Society, The Knee Society, and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meetings in Las Vegas, NV with 17 podium presentations, posters, and exhibits. Our clinical practices continue to grow and there are two new additions this year including more procedures being performed at NWH and also the recruitment of Dr. Hany Bedair from Rush Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Bedair will work both at MGH and NWH joining Dr. Joseph McCarthy at the Kaplan Center for Joint Reconstruction.

All of us on the Arthroplasty Service have worked hard with various initiatives to improve per-operative efficiency, safety, and opportunity for improved volume.

We are delighted to have recruited Kristen Wood, NP who has joined the Service full time to work with patients pre-operatively and coordinate their in-house and post-operative care. This has been a much needed and fantastic addition!

This year we successfully hired a full time assistant for our Registry data collection in the Yawkey Outpatient Center. This has been an important and critical addition that now allows us to collect preoperative and postoperative outcomes and satisfaction scores from all of our patients.

Close collaboration continues with the members of the Arthroplasty Service and the Bioengineering Laboratory under the direction of Guoan Li, PhD. Dr. Li reports, “We continue to work on a better understanding of gender differences in kinematics and biology of the knee.” Our Fellows continue to work with Dr. Li and his outstanding graduate students and report great successes in their research experience.

Members of our Service hosted an OR-Live broadcast on the scientific and clinical information about Vitamin E Infused Polyethylene (E-Poly). His broadcast seminar was viewed from people all over the world and brings the newest information about total joint replacement bearing surfaces to the forefront.

This year marks the 49th Fellowship class including Drs. Sanaz Hariri, Ian Panuncialman, Fabian vonKnock, and Nina Shervin. Dr. Hariri was awarded the first Health Care Policy Fellowship by AAHKS and will be off to Stanford University for further training and research. Dr. Panuncialman is staying in the Boston area while his wife finishes her medical training. Dr. vonKnoch has accepted a prestigious position at the Schulteis Clinic in Zurich where he will specialize in joint replacement and trauma surgery. Dr. Shervin is actively exploring job opportunities. Best wishes Fellows!

Podiatry Service

The MGH Podiatry Service staff provides ambulatory foot care, out-patient surgery, orthotic services, and non-invasive lower extremity arterial testing (PADNet) at the Main Campus (YCOC 3). Other practice sites include: three MGH-affiliated health centers (Revere, Chelsea & Charlestown), South End Community Health Center and Lynn Community Health Center. Our staff members also cover in-patient consultations at the MGH and SRH. Assisted by our residents, each staff member volunteers his/her services at the Pine Street Inn Foot Clinic, as a longstanding affiliation with Boston HealthCare for the Homeless. We maintain a valuable clinical relationship with the MGH Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Service, often collaborating in patient care.

The MGH Podiatry residency program has one of the most extensive & comprehensive curricula in the country, including over twenty non-Podiatry medical and surgical month-long block rotations, broad & diverse longitudinal training experiences in clinical podiatry and foot & ankle surgery, and extensive didactic activities including weekly lectures via a Podiatry post-graduate education website. Our residents receive training in foot & ankle surgery from over 25 faculty members – podiatric, orthopaedic and plastic surgeons. An additional area hospital and a free-standing surgicenter recently joined the program as new training sites, which now total seven venues, including the MGH and the MGH Orthopaedic ASC. Very soon, we hope to reactivate the clerkship program, open to 4th year podiatric medical students nationwide, helping to attract the best & brightest residency applicants.

The Sixth Annual MGH Podiatry Service Winter Lecture, ‘The iShoe Insole: research & development, current design and clinical applications for patients with disequilibrium in stance & gait’ (guest speaker: Katharine Forth, PhD- researcher from Harvard, MIT, University of Houston and NASA) was held in January 2009, drawing almost 50 attendees including podiatrists, physical therapists, orthotists, and other medical professionals from MGH and other metropolitan Boston hospitals.

"The clinicians and faculty members of our Service strive to provide excellence in patient care, as well as in post-graduate education. Expanding our clinical practice to locations within existing and new Partners facilities, north, south and west of Boston has now become both a necessity and priority for us. Adding a ‘research arm’ to our Service is yet another objective we hope to achieve in the near future." notes Dr. Scardina.

Hand and Upper Extremity Service

The Hand and Upper Extremity Service continues to expand both in clinical volume, teaching programs, and clinical and basic research.

Geographically, we are major utilizers of the MGH Waltham Ambulatory Surgical Unit as well as seeing new and follow-up patients at MGH West. We will soon have a physical presence in the new Foxboro facility and in the near future, in the Danvers outpatient center.

With the merger with the MGH Plastic Service this past year we have had 4 clinical fellows along with cross rotations with the 3 Brigham and Women’s Hand Fellows. We continue to have PhD candidates doing research as well as numerous international visitors. This past year saw the start of a collaborative rotation with the shoulder service with one fellow spending an additional 6 months with the Hand Service. Leadership of the Fellowship has been transferred from Dr. Sang-Gil Lee to Dr. Chaitanyal Mudgal.

The Hand and Upper Extremity Service produced 15 peer review publications, 13 analytic reviews and book chapters and two textbooks over the past year! We are featured in local, regional, national, and international symposium with roles varying from speakers to moderators to course chairmen.

Shoulder Service

The Harvard Shoulder Service, a partnership between the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is under the direction of Jon J.P. Warner, MD. Dr. Laurence D. Higgins, Director of the Sports and Shoulder Service (BWH) acts as the Fellowship Director for the Shoulder Service. Dr. Thomas Holovacs is a valuable part of the Shoulder Service at MGH and contributes to Resident and Fellowship education.

This year the Harvard Shoulder Service is training five Shoulder Fellows and two international visitors. One Fellow has already accepted a position as an Upper Extremity Surgeon at Boston University. One Fellow has plans to return to the University of Tel Aviv in Israel as an Upper Extremity Surgeon. The other three Fellows are in the process of finalizing their future career plans.

The Clinical growth at the MGH has continued at a rapid pace. The emphasis of our service remains the highest quality care for all problems of the shoulder; however, our principal focus is to act as an outlet for complex and revision problems which are referred not only from the New England Region but from around the United States and the International community.

Academic highlights have included presentations at National and International Meetings with many publications.

This year the New England Shoulder and Elbow Society held it’s fifth annual meeting in January at Jay Peak, Vt. and over 140 people attended our banquet. Dr. Warner is the President of this Society this year.

Orthopaedic Oncology Service

The Orthopaedic Oncology Service under the direction of Service Chief, Francis Hornicek, MD, PhD, is one of the largest in the world. Members of the Orthopaedic Oncology Service have been the pioneers in the area of transplantation in limb sparing procedures in musculoskeletal oncology.

The Orthopaedic Oncology, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology Services and the members of Pathology and Radiology from the Center of Sarcoma and Connective Tissue Oncology, part of the MGH Cancer Center, provide comprehensive care for patients with bone and soft tissue tumors which are benign and malignant in children and adults. They are a regional, national and international referral center for these complex tumors. Dr. Dempsey Springfield recently joined the service and has added enormous depth to the areas of Resident and Fellow Education, as well as the treatment of complex intra-pelvic sarcomas. Dr. Kevin Raskin, Dr. Dempsey Springfield, Dr. Joseph Schwab and Dr. Hornicek continue to divide their clinical service with additional passions including orthopaedic research and medical student and resident education. Dr. Hornicek and Zhenfeng Duan, MD, PhD, run the Molecular Sarcoma Laboratory and have multiple collaborative efforts to study tumor agenesis and stem-cell research on tumor pathogenesis.

The Musculoskeletal Tumor Fellowship, one of the most sought after in the country, brings together members of Beth Israel Deaconess, The Children’s Hospital and the MGH to develop a truly world-class Fellowship program. The Orthopaedic Oncology group has a truly impressive past, a highly productive present and a future that includes innovation in many areas!

Pediatric Orthopaedic Service

The Pediatric Orthopedic Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital added an additional outstanding young pediatric orthopedic surgeon to its ranks during this past year. Gleeson Rebello, MD, joined us in practice. He hopes to focus on afflictions of the pediatric, adolescent and young adult hip. Additionally, he will be manning our new Foxboro site once the facility receives its DPH certification.

We are also pleased to continue our research program within the Laboratory for Tissue Engineering. Yunfeng Lin, DMD, PhD, has joined us as a post-doctoral follow within our lab. Research is moving along at a brisk pace. We are working on many interesting topics involving adipose derived stem cells with the ultimate goal of developing novel therapeutic applications for pediatric orthopedic and spine afflictions.

Sports Medicine Service

The Service continues to grow both in terms of staff and of programs. Several programs will expand into the new space in the MGH/BWH Medical Center at Patriot Place in Foxborough. This facility will provide the setting for new programs and for expansion of several of our current activities. One of our former fellows, Eric Berkson, MD, joined the MGOA in February and will be based primarily there. Kelly McInnis DO, who recently joined the Sports Medicine Service, will also spend some of her time in Foxborough where she will develop our activities in non-operative sports medicine, the female athlete, and concussion management in collaboration with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

We have recruited another one of our former fellows, Luke Oh, MD, to join the Service when he finishes his Elbow fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. He will be based in both Foxborough and at the MGH Sports Medicine Center in Boston, where he will develop a program in elbow surgery with a strong interest in the injuries sustained in sports.

In a major initiative to optimize the care of our patients, Laurence Ronan, MD of the Internal Medicine Associates will establish a Primary Care Sports Medicine Practice in the Sports Medicine Center and continues as Team Internist for Boston Red Sox. He has also been active in a number of collaborative activities within the MGH/SRH complex and with some national agencies.

The Service is developing two major clinical programs: the MGH Sports Concussion Center in collaboration with Dr. Ross Zafonte, the Chairman of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Director of the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. A necessary concomitant of these clinical activities is a flexible and comprehensive database to store and retrieve clinical data. The need is being actively pursued under the leadership of Dr. Berkson.

Our basic science research remains very productive in collaboration with Guoan Li, Ph.D and his colleagues in the Biomechanical Engineering Laboratory. This past year, Dr. Thomas Gill and Dr. Li received the O’Donoghue Sports Injury Research Award from the AOSSM for excellence in clinical research and human in-vivo studies. In addition, we have furthered our collaborative research programs with MIT and the Department of Physical Anthropology at Harvard College. In collaboration with Joseph Paradiso, Ph.D and his group at MIT, we have a major initiative in the biomechanics of throwing using an innovative high speed video system, as well as exciting new technology with Inertial Motion Unit monitoring devices. In a related study, we are collaborating with Daniel Lieberman, PhD and his group at Harvard College to study the evolution of throwing in primates. A number of fellows, residents and students are involved in all of these research activities.

Thomas J. Gill, MD, Chief of the Sports Medicine Service and Director of the Sports Medicine Center in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery continues as the Medical Director of the Boston Red Sox, Head Team Physician of the New England Patriots and Team Physician of the Boston Bruins. In collaboration with William Palmer, MD of the Department of Radiology, he initiated a CME course in Sports Medicine which was very well-received with over 200 participants this past year, and is expanding in 2009 to include symposia on rehabilitation. He was also nominated by the Dept of Medicine for its annual Resident Teaching Award.

Bertram Zarins, MD, the Augustus Thorndike Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, continues his clinical practice and his activities as the Head Team Physician for the New England Revolution and as a Team Physician for the New England Patriots and Boston Bruins. He has substantial responsibilities for the clinical education of the residents and fellows, and developed a comprehensive educational curriculum that will be on our website and available to all members of the Harvard Program this year.

Peter Asnis, MD has developed a busy clinical practice including a new program in hip arthroscopic surgery which has grown rapidly. He was named the Head Team Physician for the Boston Bruins in 2008, and continues as a Team Physician for the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots.

George Theodore, MD remains heavily involved in the MGH Sports Medicine Fellowship Program, and continues his activities as a Team Physician for the Boston Red Sox and Consultant to the New England Patriots.

Arthur Boland, MD is now focusing primarily on the educational activities of residents, students and fellows on our Service, in addition to his office practice. He continues to contribute heavily to the sports medical aspects of the Harvard University Health Service. In addition, the Sports Medicine Service staff covers the athletic activities of several local colleges and high schools.

Thomas J. Gill III, MD is involved with all aspects of our research program as Director of Research for the Sports Medicine Service.

Orthopaedic Spine Center

The Orthopaedic Spine Center at the MGH is under the skillful direction of Kirkham B. Wood, MD, and now in its 10th year of existence. All aspects of spine care, teaching, and research are under the auspices of this service. Our Multidisciplinary Orthopaedic Spine Center includes: Attendings, Kirkham Wood, MD; Joseph Schwab, MD; and Physiatrists: James Sarni, MD; Leonid Shinchuk, MD; and David Binder, MD. In addition, James Rathmell, MD, an anesthesiologist with the MGH Pain Center works closely with this multidisciplinary program to provide a full breadth of services to our patients.

Dr. Joseph Schwab, the newest member of this division, is a member of two services, the Orthopaedic Oncology Service and the Orthopaedic Spine Center. Dr. Schwab’s work and interest is in metastatic disease of the spine, primary spine tumors, and bone and soft-tissue tumors. Dr. Schwab is integrating a highly active clinical practice along with his clinical practice in Orthopaedic Oncology.

The Harvard Combined Spine Fellowship (BWH attendings, Drs. Mitchell Harris and Christopher Bono) has three fellows (2 at MGH, and 1 at BWH). The fellows are actively involved in teaching and research programs in addition to their clinical duties.

Dr. Kirk Wood and Dr. Guoan Li, Director of the Bioengineering, continue to collaborate actively in the area of Spine Kinematics. Dr. Wood is using the Dual-Fluoroscopic Kinematics system to better study the kinematics of the cervical and lumbar spine. Dr. Li explains, “The implication of this work is to better provide excellent kinematics’ data as we move into the field of disc replacement surgery.” In addition, Dr. Wood has developed a spinal database along with Henrik Malchau, MD, PhD.


Bioengineering Laboratory

The Bioengineering Laboratory, under the direction of Guoan Li, PhD, continues its tradition of innovation in the area of joint engineering and biomechanics. This year they began reporting in-vivo data using the dual fluoroscopic imaging system for the accurate measurement of in-vivo dynamic joint kinematics. This cutting-edge technique along with the validation from the robot testing system has moved the joint kinematics analysis to a whole new level of accuracy and significance, and is providing new concepts in Total Knee and Shoulder Arthroplasty, cartilage contact biomechanics in sports injuries, and intervertebral disc deformation in adult spines.

Peter Asnis, MD, and Michal Kozanek, MD, of the Bioengineering Laboratory, in collaboration with Bryan Kelly, MD from the Hospital of Special Surgery, have recently completed a cadaveric study which described the cross sectional anatomy of the iliopsoas tendon and its relationship to the acetabular labrum. The results were presented at the 54th annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society and will be published in the August issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Thomas Gill, MD and Samuel Van de Velde, MD, together with David Wing, MD, Luke Oh, MD, and Guoan Li, PhD, of the Bioengineering Laboratory Sports Medicine Research Group, have been awarded the 2009 O’Donoghue Sports Injury Research Award for their work on knee joint kinematics following reconstruction of the posterior cruciate ligament. The O’Donoghue award, the most prestigious decoration in sports medicine, is granted by The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine to the best overall paper that deals with clinical based research or human in-vivo research. In their paper "Tibiofemoral and Patellofemoral Kinematics Following Reconstruction of an Isolated Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: In Vivo Analysis During Physiologic Loading", Dr. Gill et al. have provided an insight in the efficiency -or lack thereof- of the contemporary single-bundle PCL reconstruction technique to reproduce normal in vivo knee kinematics.

Over the past year, the in-vivo human spine research at the Bioengineering Laboratory, in close collaboration with Drs. Kirkham Wood and Brian Grottkau, has developed considerably. The Spine Research Group is now quantifying the biomechanical mechanisms of intervertebral disc deformation in normal and lower back pain patients during daily activities. The Laboratory continues their analysis of the effect of current spinal fusion, disc replacement, and scoliosis fixation on disc degeneration in adjacent vertebral levels. The spine group has recently published and submitted a series articles in Spine, Journal of Biomechanics, European Spine Journal, and presented in various spine conferences.

The lab has an increasing contingent of outstanding graduate students from MIT, including Daniel Massimini, Ali Hosseini, Shaobai Wang, and Kartik Varadarajan, and postdoctoral fellows, including Drs. Samuel Van de Velde, Peter Passias, Gang Li, Michal Kozanek, Qun Xia, Fan Liu, Jong Keun Seon, Bing Yue and Jia Lin Wu. Dr. Kozanek and Liu have been studying in-vivo OA ankle joint kinematics in collaboration with Dr. Richard de Asla and investigating in-vivo human gait in collaboration with Drs. Rubash and Gill. Mr. Massimini continues to conduct research on in-vivo human shoulder biomechanics in collaboration with Dr. JP Warner and work towards his PhD degree thesis. Mr. Hosseini, together with Dr. Wu, continues to investigate in-vivo ACL forces using advanced imaging and robotic technology in collaboration with Dr. Thomas Gill. Drs. Xia, Li and Passias are actively studying intrinsic biomechanics of human lumbar spine in collaboration with Drs. Kirkham Wood and Brian Grottkau. Mr. Varadarajan, Dr. Seon and Dr. Yue made enormous progress in the development of an innovative reverse engineering method for new TKA component design and the comparison of Western and Eastern population knee morphology in collaboration with Drs. Freiberg and Rubash. Dr. Samuel Van de Velde, is actively publishing on in-vivo ACL and PCL biomechanics. Dr. Fu has successfully completed a first in-vivo human forearm kinematics study using the imaging technique. Hemanth Reddy Gadikota is our core bioengineer and has actively participated in a variety of clinical and robotic projects. Mr. Gadikota, Drs. Seon and Wu have successfully conducted a series of biomechanical testing of various ACL reconstruction techniques using the robotic system.

The team had over 30 talks, podium presentations, and posters at this year’s ORS/AAOS. They published in various peer review journals in arthroplasty, sports, spine as well as bioengineering fields. The lab also celebrated a new 5 year NIH supported R01 project for the investigation of ACL reconstruction biomechanics.

The Harris Orthopaedic Biom echanics and Biom aterials Laboratory (H-OBBL )

The Harris Orthopaedic Biomechanics and Biomaterials Laboratory (H-OBBL) is under the co-direction of Orhun Muratoglu, PhD, and Henrik Malchau, MD, PhD. Members of this laboratory have contributed to the field of Adult Reconstructive Surgery for over four decades. A variety of different topics have been studied and major contributions have been made particularly in the area of implant stability, implant fixation, bearing-surface applications, and 1st , 2nd and now 3rd generation of highly crosslinked polyethylenes. Currently, there are a number of outstanding clinical projects underway at the H-OBBL. Dr. Charles Bragdon is leading a staff to study the clinical performance of first generation highly cross-linked polyethylene and the newly FDA approved vitamin-E doped polyethylene for use in hip and knee arthroplasties. Dr. Bragdon has been in the laboratory for over two decades. Charlie and I did the first canine hip replacement in the mid-eighties!

An additional clinical outcomes study in its 7th year utilizes RSA techniques to determine the wear behavior of crosslinked polyethylene in conjunction with the traditional as well as large heads. This study has shown marked reduction in wear and femoral head penetration at the 7th year benchmarks. Dr. Malchau and co-investigators are quite pleased with these results and state, "So far the first generation highly crosslinked polyethylene performs as predicted in the preclinical experiments and seems to be the bearing of choice in the active patient."

The H-OBBL is also focusing on materials including crosslinked polyethylene with low-wear and high strength for applications in hip, knee and other joint arthroplasties. This section of the H-OBBL is under the direction of the Orhun Muratoglu, PhD, an innovator in this field for over a decade. The newest technology utilizes Vitamin E to stabilize the residual free radicals and to protect the base polymer against oxidation in the second generation polyethylene. FDA cleared the use of this material in total hips in 2007 and for total knees in 2008. Ebru Oral, PhD, and a group of scientists along with Dr. Muratoglu are leading this important area of investigation.

A new exciting innovation is also in the area of load bearing materials for use in total joint reconstruction. This new technology limits the crosslinking of the polyethylene to the articular surface layer, where it is needed to improve wear resistance. This method minimizes the loss of mechanical properties. The investigators at H-OBBL think that this new technology will be suitable for younger and more active patients.

New exciting areas of collaboration include the area of knee wear. Drs. Orhun Muratoglu, Henrik Malchau, Dr. Rubash, Guoan Li, as well as Lars Weidenhielm, MD, PhD, and Eva Weidenhielm- Broström, PhD, scientists who joined us from Sweden in early September will be tackling the difficult and perplexing problem of knee wear. This project will provide some exciting information with the ultimate goal of detecting in-vivo wear as it relates to implant longevity. Dr. Li states, "The innovative dual fluoroscopic technique in a combined effort with H-OBBL, is being developed to detect in-vivo poly wear to predict longevity of patients after TKA."

Another new area of collaboration for HOBBL is in the area of spine kinematics and spine reconstruction. The team is working on technology using hydrogels as materials for intervetebral disc replacement along with biodegradable polymer technology. These studies could benefit many of our patients with degenerative axial-skeleton disease as well as spinal deformity. Dr. Kirkham Wood states, "Ongoing studies in the Biomechanics Lab include projects studying the three-dimensional analysis of intervertebral disc motion using a combined MRI-fluoroscopic technique; the effects of disc degeneration on in-vivo disc deformation and the effect of spinal deformity surgery on adjacent segment vertebral kinematics using noninvasive techniques."

The H-OBBL is a source of enormous activity and energy in the area of translational and basic science research. The skillful scientists in this laboratory had another incredible year at the ORS and the AAOS with over 20 abstracts presented. Once again the members of this outstanding laboratory have added a tremendous amount of new knowledge to our field. I know that these important contributions will continue in the future.

Laboratory of Musculoskeletal Engineering

The Laboratory for Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering, under the direction of Mark Randolph and Dr. Thomas Gill, focuses on cartilage repair and regeneration in the knee. The group focuses on developing new hydrogels for articular cartilage repair and regeneration. Working with Drs. Robert Redmond and Irene Kochevar from the Wellman Center of Photomedicine, they have developed a novel means to photocrosslink collagen gel for use as an encapsulation gel for chondrocytes and neocartilage formation. Initial work on cell survival following photopolymerization was published in Tissue Engineering in 2007 (Ibusuki S et al, 13(8):1995-2001). Follow up studies on the capacity of these photopolymerized collagen gels to form neocartilage was published in the Journal of Knee Surgery in January 2009 (Ibusuki S et al 22(1):72-81). A grant from the AO Foundation to continue this work has been received by Dr. Redmond where the work will focus on improving the biomechanics of the gel and improving cell survival. Parallel work on the cartilage formation capacity of human articular chondrocytes placed in hydrogels has been funded by a grant to Dr. Gill from the NFL Charities. The collaboration will also include Dr. Seemantini Nadkarni from the Wellman Center for Photomedicine who will focus on using laser speckle imaging as a noninvasive means for measuring the modulus of native and engineered cartilage.

New studies in collaboration with Dr. Orhun Muratoglu in the Department’s Orthopedic Biomechanic and Biomaterials Laboratory are exploring a hybrid scaffold composed of nondegradable poly (vinyl alcohol) scaffold combined with chondrocytes for joint cartilage replacement. Several types of PVA hydrogels have been tested for cell compatibility and cartilage formation in mice with support through and Academic Enrichment Fund grant from the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Progress to date has identified several candidate gels that support new cartilage formation and pilot studies are underway testing these gels in joint surface repair in swine.

Previous work funded by the AO Foundation focused on tissue engineering strategies to repair lesions in the avascular regions of the meniscus. The results demonstrated an efficient means to seed chondrocytes onto polygalactin (PLGA) scaffolds, and the capacity of this cell-scaffold constructs to heal bucket handle lesions made in swine menisci. One study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in November 2006 (Weinand C, et al, 2006, 11:34) presented preliminary data on using allogeneic chondrocytes for meniscal repair. A recent grant from the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation will allow us to test the utility of allogeneic chondrocytes for healing lesions in the swine meniscus.

Sarcom a and Molecular Biology Laboratory

The Sarcoma Molecular Biology Laboratory (SMBL), under the direction of Zhenfeng Duan, MD, PhD and Francis J. Hornicek, MD, PhD, is working on understand the mechanisms of multidrug resistance, identification of small molecules and targets to reverse drug resistance, and characterization of molecular mechanisms governing growth, proliferation of human sarcoma cells.

The overall objectives of our laboratory are to explore biological mechanisms of tumors arising in bone and other tissues. One of the major focuses of the lab is to elucidate the mechanisms of the development of drug resistance in cancer. Previously, we have found multidrug resistance could be partially reversed by siRNA targeting of ABCB1 (MDR1) or by combination of nanoparticles with chemotherapy drug. Recently, we have identified two small molecules that can overcome drug resistance in vitro. Another significant aim of our research is to define the essential kinases that are responsible for proliferation and survival of human sarcoma cells. In addition, translational research into new treatment options for sarcoma patients has been undertaken. Continued collaboration with other institutions and pharmaceutical companies has provided the foundation for evaluation of new drug development. Many of these drugs are derived from marine sources and their corresponding biochemical structures are quite complex. The Sarcoma Molecular Biology Laboratory has published articles pertaining to multiple drug resistance in human cancer. Research projects on sarcoma biology have received funding from a variety of sources including NIH, foundations, corporate sponsors, and benefactors.

The sarcoma research group at the MGH includes investigators from multiple disciplines, as does the clinical group. We hope to continue research expansion and further collaboration within the Harvard community.


It has been a busy and productive year for the Orthopaedic Research Laboratories. During the past year extensive renovation has been performed within the Bioengineering Laboratory site on Jackson 12. In addition a central area on Jackson 11 has been renovated and one of the older walk-in cold rooms has been removed. With the modifications to the space we have been able to create a new PI office, several workstations for students and also a central facility for minus 80 degrees freezers. The space regained by this renovation will be shared between the Orthopedic Research laboratories on Jackson 11 and 12. I am pleased to report that the new Shoulder Laboratory under the direction of Dr. J. P. Warner opened at Jackson 12 earlier this year.


This year’s annual black tie Department Holiday Party was held at was held at the lovely Seaport Hotel in South Boston. There were nearly 400 delighted revelers in attendance. Everyone enjoyed the festive music, holiday-themed decor, and of course the sumptuous food. Plans are underway for next year’s exciting event.


It is a great pleasure to update everyone on what is happening in my own personal life. During this past year, Kim and I celebrated our thirtieth wedding anniversary and unfortunately due to a family issue we were unable to travel to Tuscany to do our bike tour. We have rescheduled for the fall and hopefully in my next year’s report I will be able to share some spectacular pictures from our trip.

My oldest son Brad is graduating from Rollins College in Florida this year. Recently he called me and said, “Dad, I’ve decided on my Internship for the summer…” I asked him where he was planning to go and he replied, “Quantico, Virginia.” My next response was, “Brad isn’t that where the Marines train?” He replied, “Yes, Dad, I’m planning to join the Marines and enter the Officers Candidate School in Quantico.” My next response was, “Have you told your mother?” Kim and I are most proud of our son’s decision and will support him fully. He would like to become a Marine Pilot and will be the entering the program in June 2009. Best wishes, Brad!

Steven is in his junior year at Boston University (BU) and is fascinated and fully engaged in the Management Program. He needed to take some time off last fall and he is glad to be back in his classes. My wife and I and Steven had the opportunity to spend more time together over the winter and spring of this year. We are hopeful that Steven will continue to perform in an outstanding fashion at BU. He is an immensely talented young man and we wish him well.

Kristin has transferred from Wheaton College to Rollins College in Florida. She has decided to spend her fall and winter term with her horse in Florida so that she can continue pursuing her academic studies along with her riding career. She has decided to enter the International Business Program at Rollins with a minor in Psychology. We are most proud of her decision. Her shoulder has recovered from her recent fracture (thank you Dr. Tom Holovacs) and she is back riding and going strong. She plans to spend the summer in Canada training in Equestrian Eventing.

Once again it is a great pleasure and an honor to continue to work with all of you in this wonderful department at this fine institution. I wish all of you the best of success and my door is always open!!

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